5/31/2014 8:12 P.M. ET
Padres hold final pre-Draft workouts
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- On Thursday, the Padres held the fifth and final private pre-Draft workout at Petco Park, a last look of sorts at players they are considering for Thursday's First-Year Player Draft.
Ever wonder what goes on during these workouts? It's not the cattle call you might expect or simply a mundane session of batting practice, bullpen work and infield and outfield drills.
"I think the workouts give you a chance to get some questions answered both on and off the field," said Chad MacDonald, the team's assistant general manager of player personnel. "You get a chance to talk more in a comfortable setting with the player and get to know them."
But there's more to it than that, MacDonald said.
The Padres, who have assembled their scouting department in San Diego for meetings that will lead up to the Draft, have tailored their workouts to not only get a look at players at their natural position but, occasionally, ask them to try a different position or show a different facet of their game.
"Maybe you try to see if the shortstop that doesn't have enough range can catch or maybe the second baseman with plus-plus speed, can he go out to the outfield?" MacDonald said. "You're able to do a lot of that."
The Padres have held five workouts in the last few weeks, all organized by their area scouts. There were workouts in Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Cincinnati and, finally, San Diego. The workouts are attended by MacDonald, scouting director Billy Gasparino, national crosscheckers Sean Campbell, Kurt Kemp and the team's four regional crosscheckers.
"I think we do that more [ask players to move around] with the college guys more than high school guys. Maybe it's the college pitcher who doesn't have the velocity, you ask him to throw sidearm. If a guy is a dead-pull hitter, you ask him to hit the ball the other way. Or if he hits lines drives, ask him if in batting practice if he can put more loft on the ball," MacDonald said.
"You're not trying to change them but trying to see the things they can or can't do. I think all the kids who show up to the workouts are receptive to it. It's another chapter in their book, if you will."
Last year, during one pre-Draft workout, the Padres asked speedy outfielder Mallex Smith, a left fielder in junior college, to give center field a try.
"He was a guy we deemed as an 80 [on scouting scale] runner so it was good to see him take some fly balls in center field and also get to know him and his personality," MacDonald said.
The Padres selected Smith in the fifth round and he's currently hitting .301 with a .401 on-base percentage with 40 stolen bases in 51 games for Class A Fort Wayne of the Midwest League.
Gyorko gets day off; Amarista starts
CHICAGO -- The Padres gave struggling second baseman Jedd Gyorko the day off on Saturday, as Alexi Amarista got the start.
Gyorko is hitting .169 and went 0-for-4 in Friday's 4-1 victory over the White Sox. Entering Saturday, he had started all but three games this season and ranks second on the team in at-bats (195).
"It's a combination of a number of things," said Padres manager Bud Black. "You have got to use your roster and this was a good day to give him. He's been going at it hard and we've been playing him a lot. Last night, there were couple at-bats that didn't go his way."
Gyorko is hitting .231 since May 20, but he's had trouble bunching together good at-bats with a good outcome.
"It's definitely not ideal but I feel it's starting to come around a little for me," Gyorko said. "I think that my at-bats have gotten better.
"There's still lot of the season left and we're only about one-third of the way through it. I'm going to keep working at it and keep driving in runs. You know you're not going to get it all back in one game."
Black said Gyorko is putting in all the necessary work to spin out of this season-long funk and that his effort and conviction is right.
"He's having such a great attitude but I know it's eating at him. Right now, he's not squaring up enough fastballs. But it will come."
Alonso to host celebrity golf tournament
CHICAGO -- If you ask Padres' first baseman Yonder Alonso about his golf game, don't expect him to brag or boast of a better game than he actually has.
"It's terrible," he said, flatly.
So in that sense, Alonso's inaugural Celebrity Golf Classic at the Barona Creek Golf Course might be very interesting to watch, as Alonso and several of his Padres teammate putt and chip for a good cause.
Benefits from the event will support the Ramona branch of the Boys & Girls Club of San Diego. Alonso will also hold the Boys and Girls Club close to his heart, as he essentially grew up playing sports at the Boys & Girls Club of Dade County in Miami.
"I grew up at the boys and girls club so it's easy for me to hang out for a few hours with the kids," Alonso said.
Several current Padres and a handful of former players and other local celebrities will participate in the event, including Rene Rivera, Joaquin Benoit, Donn Roach and Nick Vincent.
For more information on the event, see http://www.sdyouth.org/Playgolfwithyonder.aspx.
Maybin leaves game with right calf tightness
CHICAGO -- Cameron Maybin left the Padres' 4-2 win Saturday against the White Sox in the second inning with right calf tightness, the team announced.
Maybin, who started in center field, reached on a fielder's choice in the second inning and advanced to second base when teammate Will Venable was caught in a rundown.
"We just felt it was a little bothersome early in the game and felt we needed to remove him and not take any chances," Padres manager Bud Black said of Maybin, who has had soreness in the calf in recent days. "This doesn't look to be a disabled-list thing."
Maybin was replaced on the basepaths by Chris Denorfia, who stayed in the game as Venable moved from right field to center field.
Maybin missed the first 25 games of the season while recovering from a ruptured left biceps he suffered in Spring Training.
Last season, Maybin appeared in only 14 games due to injuries to his left knee and right wrist. He later had surgery on the right wrist in September.
Maybin entered Saturday's game hitting .307. He had a double and his first home run of the season in Friday's 4-1 victory over the White Sox.